Anthony R. Pisani, Ph.D.

Anthony R. Pisani, Ph.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box PSYCH
Rochester, NY 14642

Office: (585) 275-3644
Fax: (585) 276-2065

Professional Bio

Anthony R. Pisani, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide at University of Rochester. Dr. Pisani earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Virginia. He completed internship training at the Minneapolis Children's Hospitals and Clinics, and postdoctoral fellowships in Primary Care Family Psychology and in Suicide Research at the University of Rochester. Dr. Pisani is a licensed psychologist and licensed marriage and family therapist.

Dr. Pisani developed and tested Commitment to Living: Understanding and Responding to Suicide Risk (CTL). CTL addresses common dilemmas, demands, and frustrations that sometimes accompany the rewarding experience of supporting individuals at risk for suicide in their journey toward recovery. Centered around a unifying framework for formulating and responding to suicide risk (Pisani, Murrie, & Silverman, 2014), CTL helps clinicians and administrators gain insight into where individual practice innovations fit in the overall flow of competent care for suicidal individuals. CTL is an evidence-based curriculum that has demonstrated improvements in assessment and documentation, based on objectively-rated samples collected from outpatient and inpatient clinicians across levels of experience. The workshop teaches core competencies in suicide risk assessment, documentation, and patient- and family-centered decision-making. Because CTL does not depend on any specific treatment protocol, busy clinicians in most settings can incorporate the model into patient care immediately after participating in the workshop. CTL is a core component of the New York State's efforts to support clinicians prevent suicide in high risk settings, and the workshop has been disseminated in health systems, service agencies, military installations, and schools around the country.

Dr. Pisani is a leader in national efforts to improve clinician education in suicide prevention. Dr. Pisani serves on the National Action Alliance Task Force for Workforce Preparedness and recently led a Curriculum Revision Task Force for the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. His publications include a highly influential study examining the state of workshop education in the assessment and management of suicide risk (Pisani, Gould, & Cross, 2011) and an article documenting the development and efficacy of his own approach to workshop education (Pisani, Cross, & Watts, & Conner, 2012).

Research Bio

Dr. Pisani is devoted to reducing suicide among youth and young adults. To that end, he conducts research to develop and test public health interventions that will reach young people in their natural environments using preferred modes of communication and interaction. He currently holds a career development award (K23) from the National Institute of Mental Health titled, "Mobile Phone Intervention to Reduce Youth Suicide in Rural Communities." Through this grant, he developed a program that introduces incoming 9th grade students to key resources and skills needed to respond to social-emotional challenges that they will face in high school.

The program leverages the voices and wisdom of experienced high school students to put 9th grade students on a positive trajectory, and uses popular media such as text messaging and video to reach a broad array of students. This program builds on Dr. Pisani's previous work identifying risk and protective processes associated with adolescent help-seeking and reduced suicide attempts: help-seeking norms, emotion self-regulation skills and trusted youth-adult relationships. Dr. Pisani seeks to develop "option-rich" (OR) suicide prevention interventions that provide a high degree of customization and choice to youth participants. Dr. Pisani is collaborating with rural and semi-rural schools in New York State to test the efficacy of the intervention.

Awards & Honors (Local)

Otto F. Thaler Teaching Development Award | Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center | Rochester, NY 2007 - 2008
Research Fellowship | Center for Children, Families, and the Law | University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 2000 - 2001
Hayes Scholarship for Graduate Study in Social Science | Bowdoin College | Brunswick, Maine 1996 - 1997
Summa Cum Laude | Bowdoin College | Brunswick, Maine 1993
Phi Beta Kappa | Phi Beta Kappa Society, Alpha Chapter | Brunswick, Maine 1993
Philip C. Bradley Prize in Spanish Language and Literature | Bowdoin College | Brunswick, Maine 1993

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 17 available »

2016 May 24
Pisani AR, Wyman PA, Mohr DC, Perrino T, Gallo C, Villamar J, Kendziora K, Howe GW, Sloboda Z, Brown CH. "Human Subjects Protection and Technology in Prevention Science: Selected Opportunities and Challenges." Prevention science : the official journal of the Society for Prevention Research. 2016 May 24; Epub 2016 May 24.
Pisani, AR; Wyman, PW; Mohr, DC; Perrino, T; Gallo, C; Kendziora, K; Howe, G; Sloboda, Z; & Brown, CH. "Technology-enabled advances in prevention science: Opportunities and challenges in human subjects protection. Prevention Science." Prevention Sence. 2016; .
Pisani AR, Murrie DC, Silverman MM. "Reformulating Suicide Risk Formulation: From Prediction to Prevention." Academic psychiatry : the journal of the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training and the Association for Academic Psychiatry. 2015 Epub 2015 Dec 14.
Pisani, AR; Murrie, DC; Silverman, M. "Reformulating Risk Formulation: From Prediction to Prevention". Academic Psychiatry. 2015; .
Petrova M, Wyman PA, Schmeelk-Cone K, Pisani AR. "Positive-Themed Suicide Prevention Messages Delivered by Adolescent Peer Leaders: Proximal Impact on Classmates' Coping Attitudes and Perceptions of Adult Support." Suicide & life-threatening behavior. 2015 45(6):651-63. Epub 2015 Feb 18.

Current Appointments

Associate Professor - Department of Psychiatry, Family/Marriage (SMD) - Primary
Associate Professor - Department of Pediatrics (SMD)


Ph.D. | Clinical Psychology | University of Virginia2001
M.Ed. | Clinical Psychology | University of Virginia1997
A.B. | History and Spanish | Bowdoin College1993

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

Fellowship in Psychology at University of Rochester School of Nursing09/01/2001 - 06/30/2003
Internship in Psychology at Minneapolis Children's Medical Center09/01/2000 - 08/2001